(Boston, MA) – What percentage of Boston Beer Co.‘s shipments come from sales of Boston Lager?
The company only made this number public in one of its year-end financial statements back in 1998.
The single-digit growth in Boston Lager shipments is encouraging as this is the flagship brand and represents over 60% of total shipments. The decline in the year-round styles is indicative of the market continuing to mature as consumers become less inclined to experiment with new styles. [...] however, sales of Samuel Adams Boston Lager(R) and seasonal brands, which make up 73% of the Company’s core brand sales, continued to increase [...]
The re-birth of consumer experimentation with different styles in recent years has changed how companies view their flagships. I alluded to ‘Sam Adams Seasonal’ taking over Sam Adams Boston Lager sales in my long-winded rundown of Boston Beer Co.’s Q3 earnings release. Shanken News Daily then took it a step further, putting these findings into a pretty chart.
According to that Symphony IRI data, Boston Lager now accounts for only 24% of total shipments, down over 35% in just a little over a decade’s time. Boston Lager and seasonals only account for 45% of core brands.
The Boston Lager story represents a larger movement away from flagships.
New Belgium CEO, Kim Jordan, thinks that consumers will come back to these brands soon-ish. As noted above, she and other brewers saw it happen in the late 90s.
One more thing…
According to the IRI data, if Twisted Tea and Boston Lager 2011 performances repeat in 2012, Twisted Tea will overtake Boston Lager as the company’s top-selling individual brand.
Sea change, indeed.